My high horse

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Since Pajama Diaries’ inception in 2004 (mind you, it didn’t launch until ’06), I’ve kept the strip pretty apolitical. But I’ve been consistent about cross-party social issues…especially when it comes to parental rights in the U.S.

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I’ve done a LOT of reading over the years…from “Perfect Madness” to a jillion news articles and the like. The only thing that’s really changed is I’ve gotten more bitchy upset about the lack of progress.

Oh sure, some things have improved. Millennial dads are picking up the slack on the domestic front. The Mommy Wars are winding down. I think my beef isn’t so much with parents themselves…it’s with the lack of support system FOR parents. That much has not improved.

It doesn’t help the over-parenting craze, either. Not only are people expected to shuttle their kids to a million activities while working full-time…they are expected to mold perfect children (because in this hyper-competitive society, our kids have to be “perfect” to keep up).

So the one thing that’s changed in the strip is that I’m starting to focus less on the “women vs. other women vs. men” angle and more on the “we’re in this together as parents” angle. Yes, sometimes I still delve into the “domestic responsibility unfairness” stuff — let’s face it, in general women still do most of the domestic work — but honestly, that’s starting to take a back seat now.

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Equal pay, maternity and paternity leave, flex time, part-time rights and on-site daycare are obvious solutions that will grant better quality of life to ALL families in the U.S. It’s really a no-brainer, if only the powers that be could grow some…

…brains.

Anyhoo…I will now step off my high horse. That is, until I write my next preachy strip. Then I will climb back in the saddle and ride again.

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11 thoughts on “My high horse

  1. Oh, Terri –I have been thoroughly enjoying this new ‘side’ of your and your strip! Keep up the ‘bitch’ — maybe some of these micro-managed children will finally be free from their tethers and be allowed to be kids like we were… perfection is highly over-rated!

  2. Really enjoy your comic strip.

    Perhaps parents have done it to themselves with play dates, organized sports (everyone getting a trophy, heaven help some kid’s ego is bruised) and taking the SAT more than once. What happened to kids just going out in the neighborhood and finding other kids to play with? If you want to play baseball or whatever you got a bunch of kids together and played. The fun part is making the rules to favor your team. There was no need for parents shuttling kids around; you walked, rode your bike and yes took the bus by yourself. You ate dirt, got in fights and survived to play another day.

    • There’s so much back history behind this over-parenting phenomenon. Too much to list here. But I agree — I wish and hope we reach a nice middle ground someday.

      Thanks for reading, Bill!

    • Agreed! As a school psychologist and counselor (masters and doctorate degrees),
      I am witnessing a trend of kids feeling entitled to have the opportunities and possessions that you write about in the strip. Parents are apologizing and are feeIing guilty for their inability to provide for what are, in my professional opinion, excessive and usually age-inappropriate demands of kids. As an example, the majority of kids younger than sixteen don’t have the need for or developmental maturity to own and use a cell phone appropriately, yet they feel that this is a “right” and usually receive one after begging parents, who acquiesce after enough whining. Then when cyber bullying and on-line preditor issues arise, we wonder why… Children’s brains (prefrontal cortex) continue to develop until approx. 21 years of age, and don’t have the capacity during teen-age years to make mature decisions around “adult” issues that parents (and society) place on them. Several of your strips make me shake my head when I read the implication that Amy and Jess appear to “run the show” and dictate mom’s schedule and common sense. Today’s strip made me cringe as an educator, as without summer practice with reading and math skills (a balance with play activities, also), students regress up to four months and take several months in the fall to recoup those skills. I guess I can just avoid reading your strip, but wanted you to consider the perspective of a child development expert as you write your strip, as many parents are impacted by your words…

  3. Ooh, up here in Iceland (land of the most equality between sexes but still lacking, oh yes still lacking) we watch with incredulity the overparenting tendencies and then the awfully bad laws about parental leave and lack of daycare facilities. I’ve also been enjoying the strips a lot lately!

    • It must seem very odd to those outside the U.S. It does to me and I live here.Thanks for the comment and thank you for reading!

  4. Wow…who purchased the shirt that Amy wouldn’t let her mom wear in today’s comic strip? I bet it was her mom….who’s in charge in this family?
    Her mom should wear it and not ask permission from the ungrateful disrespectful kid…

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